Receiving corps ready to step up, improve upon 2016

Published 4:11 pm Tuesday, July 25, 2017

After a record-setting 2015 season in receptions and receiving yards, the Bainbridge Bearcats slowed down in 2016.

Twelve receivers combined for 1,189 yards last season, with running back Dameon Pierce leading the charge (20 receptions, 248 yards, 1 touchdown). Offensive coordinator Mike Harville is implementing a new system, one that the team is learning quickly to improve on those fundamentals.

“Obviously, we are working on catching the ball, running crisper routes and getting ourselves open,” said Jason Hurst, wide receivers coach. “It’s going to be important with the type of running backs that we have to be able to throw and catch the ball this year to keep (opponents) from stacking the box on us.”

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Senior Zyon McGee is eager to improve upon his 2016 season, where he made 13 catches for 194 yards and two touchdowns. However, his role as a starting safety will require other receivers to step up and fill the positions.

Two other seniors, Ben Mulkey and La’Derrick Murphy, are being pushed to show leadership and act as role models for the younger players.

Juniors Aaron Spivie and AJ Cooper are showing lots of potential in summer practice, so much so that Hurst said he expects the pair of receivers to have a big year for Bainbridge. A third junior, Fred Thompson, has demonstrated tons of potential, but Harville said he needs to step it up in practice and live up to what he’s capable of.

Freshman Caleb McDowell is a young player that will see some reps this season, Hurst said.

“I think a lot of these guys played last year pretty young,” Hurst said. “We can look for a bigger year.”

Junior tight end Bowen Dodson will also be a big factor on offense. Last season, he made eight catches for 116 yards. Coaches expect for him to make big contributions.